Thug in a Cocktail Dress

Alex defends Ramona, and discusses "the bee in LuAnn's bonnet."

It's Thug in a Cocktail Dress time at last! Who will it be? Oh, wait, you're reading this after the episode aired, so let me ask you this. . .were you surprised? There might be more thuggery to come -- stay tuned.

LuAnn and Sonja acted as co-hostesses this year for our girls trip, and I was thrilled to get back to Morocco. One thing; I was surprised to see in the episode that LuAnn said she's been there often, since when we traveled she told us she'd only been there once 15 years ago. Maybe I was confused, and it's not important AT ALL, I just hate contradictions. But I'm letting it go.

I spent a week in Marrakesh previously, with Simon and 5-week-old François in the Baby Bjorn on my chest -- it was an amazing trip!! I won't make this blog all about that trip, but if you want to know more we discuss it in Chapter 5 of our book "The Screaming Kid on the Plane is Not Mine". That time, Simon got to ride camels while I nursed the baby, in the desert, with guides driving me around in a 4x4 -- which was actually pretty cool in and of itself. We came home with four carpets and tons of pottery. Anyway, when Sonja suggested it, I was beyond excited to go back and do the things I couldn't last time with a baby. Some time during the next three episodes I'll post pictures on our website.

Seriously, LuAnn? Ramona's going to screw up the whole trip? That's ridiculous. Although Ramona had some misconceptions about Morocco (it's not a third world country and they do respect women). She is usually the most fun on a trip, pitching in, helping out, and having a great time. Kelly shouldn't have been worried about anything, frankly -- the person she had the biggest problem with in St. John wasn't going on the trip! Ramona nailed LuAnn by saying that whatever she says, she says it face-to-face and not behind the back. That, in a nutshell, is why I like Ramona, and why some of the others constantly rub me the wrong way.

I think there are two types of people in the world: Cowards, who don't want to rock the boat and smile to your face while saying whatever they feel like behind your back, and In-Your-Face'ers, who have the courage to be honest about their emotions -- good, bad or ugly. There's a gray area in between where you just don't say anything (I lived there for a while, as you know, and sometimes go back when it's just not worth it.) I would rather have clunky, not-the-right-time, from-the-heart substance, than high handedness and bile with a smooth veneer and a polished wink. Moving right along. . .

Oh, I had a bad feeling watching Sonja's toaster oven cookbook shoot. She was doing a shoot for the concept of the book, which is a great one -- entertaining in grand style using a toaster oven. It's cute! It's funny and seemingly contradictory, but very lighthearted; just like Sonja.

According to statistics I found online, as many as one in three women worldwide has suffered some sort of abuse in her lifetime -- and that's only the women as domestic violence can work both ways. There are seven of us on the show, so it makes sense that at least one, or more than one, has had to deal with that crap. It's awful for anyone, and I think we all felt for Kelly when she opened up to the girls. Whatever my feelings about LuAnn might be, she was a good friend to Kelly that day.

Canyon Ranch looked like a great place for the ladies to have fun. I do 100 percent agree with Jill Zarin that the drumming class was a little weird; it seemed sanitized. The cathartic and spiritual purpose was lost. All drama aside, if you want to see a real drumming circle, let me know. It's more like a revival meeting with drums.

I've always been adamant that, while I fully support people doing whatever plastic surgery they want to do within reason, that it's not for me. Yet. But, I've seen Dr. Giese for a while around the city, and not only is she trustworthy, but she has a great professional reputation. When Ramona suggested us going, I jumped at the chance to get her professional opinion as to whether I should do anything -- primarily should I plump up my upper lip? She said no, and I've taken her advice and simply draw my lip line up a little with a neutral pencil. The procedure I had that day is called "derma planing," which took a couple of layers of skin off but didn't cause redness like a peel.

So confused about Kelly's insistence that she can't go on a trip with Ramona. Didn't she and Ramona just have a good lunch together recently? Why is Ramona the problem? I don't get it.

Jill threw a fashion show luncheon to raise money for an anti-bullying charity, and invited all the girls to sponsor it with their products. Ramona was asked to donate wine to serve at the party by Jill's assistant Darren, and it appears that that information didn't trickle from Darren to Jill. Those of us who had extra inventory put products in the gift bags, etc. Jill asked me to come early to help her, we were in a good place, and it was a great cause, so I agreed. When I arrived, the designer asked if I'd mind changing into one of her dresses, and I was happy to do that as long as it was purple for anti-bullying.

I really wanted Jill and Ramona to come together, to have a discussion and a resolution as Jill and I had. I could see that they both had real grievances, and just wished they'd have it out. Jill was convinced that Ramona was going to pick a fight with her. Why? Ramona, quite rightly, said "Let's discuss it on the trip." Great. All good on both sides. Enter LuAnn.

LuAnn stormed in with her hair on fire, and I'm disappointed that you didn't get to see me tell her exactly that, because I did. LuAnn had a bee in her bonnet for a number of reasons. First of all, she'd been caught "designer-stalking," by Ramona, and was angry. It's kind of funny that any time LuAnn has admired a dress I've worn, the next time I see the designer he or she tells me that LuAnn's team has called asking for the same dress. You can set your watch by it. Personally, I don't care because imitation is a form of flattery, and I tend to work with newer designers who want to get their name out there. However, other women do get annoyed by LuAnn's copy-cat behavior, particularly when she pretends she has no idea. It's like when someone sits too close to you at dinner, and orders the exact same meal. I see a pattern here. Find your own voice and opinions. Find your own dresses. Hmm.

Although Jill and Ramona had already agreed to talk it out in Morocco, it was clear LuAnn hadn't gotten the memo, and she came in charging like a bull.

I really don't understand why everyone is dumping on Ramona. Darren asked Ramona to be a wine sponsor -- that means serving it, not auctioning it. Jill said that Ramona was the only one with wine. Not true, pretty much every one of our group, except Jill and Kelly, had the wine. It's reprehensible and unfair that everyone is painting Ramona as a drunk. It's also not true. Everyone (except Jill) in our group drinks. No one has a problem. Sometimes it's necessary around these women to have a drink to calm down -- better that than tranquilizers!

Thanks as always for reading, and please check out our "Thug in a Cocktail Dress" t-shirt collaboration with Housing Works. If you enter IAMREAL25 at checkout you'll get 25 percent off. You can also find us on Facebook as well as Simon's and my Twitter feeds. Simon had a great time performing "I Am Real" for the New Jersey Housewives' premiere last Monday at the Brownstone, and both that and the Thug in a Club Mix are available on iTunes.

Next up, we head off to Morocco. . .and what will we find?

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